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Chappie (2015) is a unique blend of science fiction, thrilling action, and emotional exploration mounted on a narrative that tweaks the viewer's imagination. Directed by Neill Blomkamp, the visionary behind "District 9" and "Elysium", this film shows Blomkamp's compelling storytelling style, his knack for world-building, and a knack for addressing societal concerns using science fiction settings. The movie is set in the near future, in Johannesburg, South Africa, a city plagued by crime. To combat this, the authorities deploy legions of humanoid robots or 'droids' as an answer to a human police workforce. These machines, scientifically groundbreaking, equipped with artificial intelligence and developed by Tetravaal Company, have now become the city's only policing force. Amongst the team is Sharlto Copley who lends his voice and movements to the titular character ‘Chappie,’ an experimental robot designed with an advanced version of artificial intelligence by Deon Wilson, played by Dev Patel. Chappie is not your ordinary police robot; he has a unique quality that sets him apart: the ability to think, feel and make his own decisions; in essence, a consciousness. Hugh Jackman plays the antagonistic figure, Vincent Moore. He is a former soldier and another engineer at Tetravaal with a contrasting ideology to Deon. Vincent has developed his own robotic system named 'Moose', which is more about brute force and human-controlled action rather than artificial intelligence. Due to this, he strongly objectifies the notion of sentient machines and views Chappie as a threat. In an accidental turn of events, Chappie falls into the hands of a group of desperate criminals - played by Die Antwoord's Ninja and Yo-Landi Visser, and Jose Pablo Cantillo. They have their motives, intending to exploit Chappie for their criminal activities. However, as Chappie's consciousness develops, juxtaposed by his naive and childlike innocence and his surroundings' harsh realities, we see a fascinating dynamic evolve. As the plot unfolds, Chappie becomes a peculiar amalgamation of cultural and societal influences. His interactions reveal an emotional depth that explores themes of identity, consciousness, morality, and the concept of a soul. Chappie's coming-of-age journey amidst the chaos captures the heart in unexpected ways. Blomkamp has a knack for combining stunning visuals with engaging storylines, and Chappie is no exception. The film is visually spectacular, with seamless special effects that skilfully generate a believable futuristic world, articulating a near-future Johannesburg with authenticity and rawness. The robots are flawlessly conjured, too, with Chappie standing as an impressive feat of CGI and motion-capture technology, whose body language and expressive 'face' evoke considerable empathy. The ensemble cast delivers excellent performances. Sharlto Copley, acting entirely through motion-capture technology, creates a convincingly endearing robot character in Chappie. Dev Patel brings his characteristic earnestness to the role of Deon, while Hugh Jackman perfectly captures the menacing and competitive spirit of Vincent Moore. The unusual casting of South African rap-rave group Die Antwoord's members Ninja and Yo-Landi Visser, playing versions of themselves, also adds a distinctive flavor to the movie. At its core, Chappie is a thought-provoking film that investigates profound questions about what it means to be human and the ethical implications of creating artificial consciousness. It prompts viewers to reflect on these matters without imposing definitive answers, thereby encouraging open-ended discussions. What is also commendable about this film is its deft balance of emotional beats amidst vexing ethical questions and adrenaline-pumping action sequences. While keeping viewers hooked with dramatic car chases, gunfire, and robot battles, it takes the time to delve into heartfelt moments, producing laughter, and surprisingly, a few tears, creating an emotional bond between the audience and the characters, especially Chappie. Chappie is an intriguing addition to the science-fiction genre that cleverly merges artificial intelligence narrative with a potent mix of action and drama. The film is a testament to the fact that underneath the glossy sheen of the action-packed scenes and high-end CGI, a compelling story with well-grounded characters can provoke discourse around humanity's self-image and its relationship with technology in a poignant yet entertaining way.

Chappie is a Crime, Action, Science Fiction movie released in 2015. It has a runtime of 120. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.8. It also holds a MetaScore of 41.

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Where can I stream Chappie movie online? Chappie is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Chappie for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Neill Blomkamp
Sharlto Copley, Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver
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